“I know we are helping those children and it gives me a greater purpose.”
When it comes to two-and-a-half-year-old Gloria, she must have a strict, dairy-free diet. When she was a baby, her mother, Jennifer, discovered there was something wrong. After Gloria had been on medication for two months, she had a food allergy test completed and they learned she has a severe reaction to dairy products, even more so than a lactose intolerance.
Jennifer makes a living caring for special needs children in their homes part time. Her husband is a jack of all trades and by day he works full time in the technology industry. If there’s ever a situation where there’s a large bill they’ll make payment arrangements. Jennifer heard about St. Mary’s school pantry through her friend who babysits Gloria. “My main priority is Gloria. I offer snacks and have food in the freezer to make sure she’s fed,” Jennifer said.
Jennifer recalled, “She’s always been an inquisitive baby.” You could tell as she was picking up items and running around the room. Her mother agreed she keeps her hands full. It turns out a lot of vegetables she doesn’t want to eat with Jennifer, she’ll eat with her friend who babysits.
She loves chicken soup with mixed vegetables and sometimes there’s an added cup of rice – she eats it all by herself without an issue. Her nutrition is important, so it makes Jennifer happy that she’s a fan of broccoli and when it comes to fruit snacks, she makes sure they have real fruit in them. “When times are hard, we always have that help. I want to say thank you to for being so kind and generous.”
Donavan especially loves the child meal preparation component of the Community Kitchen program. Helping provide nutritious meals to children through after-school programs, gives Donavan a warm feeling.
“No child should suffer,” he said. “I know we are helping those children and it gives me a
Donavan wanted to thank St. Mary’s donors, those who have made the Food Bank’s unique
second-chance program flourish.
“It means so much to me and to the students I work with,” he said. “People now have a future
because of you and this amazing program.”